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Meet the animals as Disability Fun Day returns to Tilgate Nature Centre in Crawley

The Disability Fun Day returns to Tilgate Nature Centre on Sunday 1 September!

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For the second consecutive year, Crawley Borough Council’s Wellbeing Team is hosting a fun day for local children, young people and families.

From 10.30am-3pm, you’ll be able to:

  • Meet and take pictures with the animals
  • Watch feeding time with Alf the Tapir, meerkats and reindeer
  • Listen to animal talks
  • Join in arts and crafts activities
  • Get your face painted.

The Adventure Zone will also be putting on a special closed session from 9.30-11am.

Tickets for the event are £13 per family (includes up to two adults, three children and one carer – £11 with a Compass Card), £6 per adult and £4 for children under 18 (£3 with a Compass Card).

The council’s Community Development Team, Autism Support Crawley and the Tilgate Nature Centre Team are collaborating with Crawley Wellbeing to deliver the event.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, said:

“I’m proud that we’re able to offer people of all ages and abilities the chance to come and enjoy the animals with their friends and families.

“At the council, inclusivity is very important to us; no one should lose out because they have different needs and abilities. So if you’re free on Sunday 1 September, bring all the family down to Tilgate Nature Centre!”

You can book in advance or turn up on the day. If you register online the programme will be emailed to you before the event. To register your place, visit my.crawley.gov.uk/service/Disability_Fun_Day

Community

Crawley library in danger of losing opening hours as County Council choose money saving over services

Another public consultation and this time it is about reducing opening hours for the library.

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Crawley library users are being asked to share their thoughts on proposed budget savings which would see a reduction in opening hours at Crawley Library.

The consultation running from 9 October to 13 November 2019 is, according to the council, aimed to help inform the decision due to be taken by West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, Jacquie Russell, in November. 

The suggested savings include for Crawley to:

Reduce the evening opening hours in the library by one hour (from 7pm to 6pm) from April 2020.

This change, along with the same reduction in hours at three other Sussex libraries along with the ceasing of the mobile library service would apparently result in a total year on year saving of £175,000.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“Since becoming cabinet member, I have often been asked about what will happen to libraries across the county. As I have said before, we need to look at doing things in a more affordable way, but ultimately my aim is to preserve the core of the library service.

“With the suggested savings being proposed, we hope that the other services we have on offer at libraries across West Sussex will diminish any negative impact to users. 

“However, I still want to hear the thoughts of our library users by way of this consultation, especially those who are specifically affected by the proposed budget savings, as this will help to shape and inform my decision in November.”

But Crawley residents will be all too wary of consultations and how they can be just lip service and completely ignored as recently happened with the consulation over the Post Office move into County Mall.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“When West Sussex County Council Leader over a decade ago, I was pleased to procure and open the new Crawley Library, which ever since has been an important community resource. I would encourage all who care about our library to engage with the Council’s consultation and call for evening opening hours not to be reduced.”

You have until 13 November 2019 to have your say.

To find out more and fill in the consultation, visit haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries/libraryoffer/

CN24 approached Jacquie Russell for a guarantee that if the results of the consultation came back that there was a majority against the reduction in hours that she would keep the library open till 7. A response has not yet been received.

But West Sussex County Council did respond saying:

“This is a live consultation and we encourage residents to have their say before the deadline of 13 November. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”

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